This trip is best characterized by our experience of staying in two entirely different casino/hotel environments. We began the trip by bunking at the Hilton (4 nights) while the biggest convention (Consumer Electronics Show) of the year was going on. Somehow, my BJ rating of $10/hand for 18 minutes got me a $40/room rate when the going rate for conventeers was $369. Go figure. Besides the hordes of techno-geeks, the Hilton was packed with hookers. They were like locusts. You wanted to make sure you didn't make eye contact or they were on you like flies-on-you not what. This is no offense to any prostitutes that may be members of this board, but I find your manner of dress, hairstyle and looks unappealing. However, I think you're great for Vegas and provide a much-needed service. God bless you. I spent much of my time pigeonholed in my room and no, it was not because I was hiding out from the whores. There was a work project that needed attention. Of all the places I've stayed at, the Hilton is my favorite for working in. They have marble desks the length of the window. You can sit there at your laptop with a view of the Strip and mountains and feel somewhat inspired. The other unique lodging experience occured on our last two nights. The El Cortez was over-booked and we were given a room at the Ogden House. The worst Vegas hotel I've stayed at is the Gold Spike. Gold Spike, step aside; the Ogden House has beaten you out for worst rooms in Vegas. But, at least I will forever be able to say I stayed at the Ogden House, as it will be closed at the end of the month and completely gutted. The plan is to turn the current 100 or so rooms into 60 upscale suites. I still need to stay at the Western sometime so I can see how it stacks up with the Ogden House. The Vegas weather was mediocre at best. Seems the Pacific storms California was getting hit with had some after-effects ino the Vegas valley. The place (northern Illinois) I left to escape the cold had record-breaking heat. In fact, it was warmer there than Vegas. Ouch. And, of course, Vegas was just beginning a stretch of sunny and 60s as I left to go back to what was now freezing midwest temps. Thanks for hearing me out. Had to get that out of my system. We did climb to the top of Devils Peak, about 25 miles south of Vegas. We tried it this summer, but couldn't get it done as it was very steep and loose rocks were everywhere. It was another tough go, but we managed to get it done. Fortunately, it's only 5,800 ft. Hardly anyone hikes Devils Peak, as few entries were in the log book at the top. By the time we reached the peak, a cloud was rushing over the top, allowing us full exposure to the weather. It's a harsh chilly wind, but it's kind of a rush. Same-old, same-old on the buffet front. Had nice meals at Fremont, Rio, Sante Fe and Orleans. Here's a tip on the Rio buffet - rip that free steak coupon out of the magazine and try it with the buffet. I normally frown on steaks served on buffets, but these are made to order. It's a 10 oz strip and it's was a nice cut. I ended up eating two of them. The other find was rack of lamb at the Sunday Fremont Seafood buffet. Never expected that. Apparantly, they do lamb in the winter from time to time. Halibut must be back to being plentiful as I saw it on three different buffets.